Well, it’s that once in a blue moon occasion where I go out and see a movie. Last time it was Doctor Strange, now its Spider-Man. I won’t beat around the bush when I say its good. Like, really good. It feels like a teenage Spider-Man movie should, so I’m writing this quick review to basically get it all off my chest and so I can copy and paste it on other forums without typing it up constantly.
Basically, the movie is very grounded. The plot is centered around a single thread, namely the Vulture using alien tech for his purposes that aren’t exactly legit. Peter, being Spider-Man and trying to get on Stark’s good-side, interferes. This is the main conflict.
Throughout the movie, we find that being Spider-Man has been slowly eating away at Peter’s life outside of the mask and that it quickly becomes his world. He’s quitting clubs that he liked, not hanging out with his sole friend, and basically ruining his life. He wants to be an Avenger that much, but he’s so green at it that he has to get advice from a criminal how to get better at it. It’s his coming of age story, and its good.
But, here are some points that stuck with me (slight spoilers):
- Happy Hogan, Peter’s contact with Stark, spends most of the movie being a serious jerk. I mean, he clearly doesn’t like having Peter around, so he ignores him and he does some stupid stuff that I honestly would have had him fired over. So yeah, screw him.
- Ned is basically Ganke. He really is. Even when it comes to learning Peter/Miles is Spider-Man.
- That suit takes a beating and still doesn’t get scratched. What did Stark make it out of?
- The fact that Tony considered the Vulture below his pay-grade was really stupid. Now I get that he probably said that to keep Peter off the case, as the boat scene shows, but I can see why the Vulture thinks the way he does when it comes to him.
- The first Shocker was asking for what happened to him. He couldn’t telegraph that any harder if he tried.
- Why would Peter hit alien tech with a hammer in shop class? That was begging for trouble. And that teacher was just incompetent for not noticing. All of them are when I think about it.
- That school has a ton of security issues, and I say that as someone who went to a public school with better security. Adults literally walk on the grounds without any trouble or being questioned, and they have no security cameras either apparently given what Peter does.
- Why wasn’t there a camera in the Damage Control facility? You can’t keep that tech locked away without someone monitoring it. It was asking to be stolen.
- Tony didn’t have to rub Peter’s failures in, but he had a point about the boat. Still a dick though. I see why Vulture hates him.
- Peter lived out every boyfriend’s worst nightmare, as Miles could attest to in the Ultimate Universe. At least he didn’t take the offer for a drink.
- He ruined Liz’s life.
Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi is a webcomic started in the early 2000s by an artist known as Bleedman and centers around the adventures of the Powerpuff Girls as they leave behind the city of Townsville for greener pastier in the city of Megaville, which contains characters from other Cartoon Network shows like the Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, Samurai Jack, and Courage the Cowardly Dog, along with Nickelodeon shows and even other anime like Medabots. It’s a massive crossover with several moments of awesome.
After moving from their hometown, the girls try to fit in as the story continues and end up following different paths in the school. Blossom ends up working along side Dexter from Dexter’s Laboratory, Bubbles ends up becoming a cheerleader with Mandy and Olga, and Buttercup joins classes taught by Jack. This gives them different perspectives and character development that should be seen, and creates unique circumstances you would never see otherwise.
However, while it starts out as a comedic story, things aren’t all fun and dandy when they find themselves getting involved in a plot that involves the Cluster from My Life as a Teenage Robot among other threats. One of the latest arcs had several characters die and… well, just take a look:
Needless to say, some things get dark at times. But it has it’s heartwarming moments as well, and some of the romantic developments are interesting to watch. The artwork starts out less than stellar, but gradually improves to the extent that it’s visually noticeable.
Overall, it’s a good fan-comic over 10 years in the making and you should read it. It updates every few weeks or months depending on the artist’s whim.
You can find a Tv Tropes page: Here
And read it online for free: Here
Ava’s Demon is another webcomic that I’m into that has artwork like something out of Disney and Pixar. It’s something of a polar-opposite of Blindsprings, but it has it’s charm as a space-faring fic. Fair-warning, I’m not going to hide spoilers so read at your own risk, and don’t eat anything or you’ll regret it.
The story is about a girl known as Ava who, as pictured above, is possessed by the soul of a space-empress named Wrathia that constantly ruins her life with the intent to drive her into suicide. This has ultimately cost her all her friends, got her expelled from her previous schools, and generally left her miserable.
In fact, when she is eventually killed after her planet gets destroyed, her greatest relief was that she didn’t die by Wrathia’s hands. This leads to a conversation where Wrathia manages to convince her into a pact after explaining that TITAN, the current conqueror of the universe managed to take over her world so she used space-alchemy to reincarnate all her most powerful warriors into new bodies, in the hopes that they would be strong enough to best TITAN. It clearly didn’t go as planned, but the gist is that now Ava has to find the hosts of the other warriors, most of whom are conveniently around her without her knowledge, to overthrown the guy.
It goes without mentioning that this art is goddamn gorgeous, but this webcomic gets seriously dark and disturbing at times. Even the impaling scene from above pales in comparison to some of the later scenes.
Overall, it’s a decent webcomic that’s easy on the eyes, but has some seriously dark overtones. And while it used to update like twice every week, it’s been on hiatus for months with only a single 30-page update last month. That being said, I recommend it highly and you can go read it:
Right, so let’s talk about Blindsprings. I’m going to be upfront and say that this review will have some spoilers up to the present point, which around 250 or so chapters. I’ll cover the premise, the characters, and what I like about it. If you’re still interested after that, go read it. The only thing it will cost you is a time, because it’s free and better than anything Marvel’s put out in the last few years.
Blindsprings tells the story a young girl named Tamaura that lived in the forest alone for three hundred years without aging due to a contract with the spirits that inhabited it. One day, a young boy named Harris finds her and they get along well. However, he leaves to go study magic only to return several years later, as an adult, and frees her from the spirits against her will. Thus she learns that the world around her has changed drastically and ends up being the cornerstone in a conflict between two factions: the Orphics, the spirit-allied former rulers of the city who are now an oppressed minority; and the Academist, “scientific” wizards who have instituted a dystopian police state in their zeal to wipe them out.’
We see early on that the Orphics are seen as second-class citizens and can be seen as treated horribly, not unlike Germany during a certain time that history will not let us forget. Worse, flashes to the past show that the Academist uprising began because Orphics treated those who weren’t like them as second-class citizens, meaning that they became as bad as the very order they were rebelling against. Not to mention things get more complex when the spirits get involved, and we find out they’ve been pulling a lot of strings as the story continues… And I mean that literally.
The story primarily focuses on Tammy, a proper and sweet princess who is three-hundred years behind on the times and fears elevators, but will put her duties above her personal desires, and Harris, a well-meaning Academist who is working to solve the magic crisis his home is currently facing and wants equality for everyone. They bonded as children, but fast-forward a couple of years and we see that they are forced down different roads due to his aspirations to help her involving joining the very descendants of the people who killed her family, and you can see how guilty they both feel since she drove him to it and he could think of nothing else. Then we learn that the spirits had a hand in it too, ultimately manipulating him for their own good.
The story also goes into the lives of the side-characters, such as Imogen and Street. They all have rich development, and even the antagonists like Asher Thorne appear to have both layers of growth, evident in both the past and the present. Another thing Kadi does well is the exploration of same-sex couples or non-binary characters, such as Harris with Evan and Ember with Irelia. If that’s your cup of tea, you’ll like this part of the comic.
Other Things to note
The world-building itself is amazing, with a detailed insight into things like how the Academist came into power and how there was an early attempt at assimilation between Orphics and non-Orphics. The art is gorgeous, with some panels being downright breathtaking. Tell me this doesn’t look amazing.
And it updates three times a week, with very few interruptions. You can read it: Here
We gain a bit more insight into Lucifer’s character in the first issue of the main series alone, where she resolves to kill Dietrich because he would kill Val before he would let her pay off her debt. She hates having to defile a corpse in order to access a demonic realm using a knife called an eye-tooth, but advises the poor coroner who witnesses her come out to not bother reporting it because she’d be long gone and no one would believe him. It’s made evident in the second issue that’s she’s lived a hard enough life on the street that she knows how to fight dirty. So from the beginning we know that she can be spiteful to those that cross her, cares about those who love her, and tries to keep civilians out of these matters. When she becomes the Thief, the next Keeper of Secrets after the Harlot, she cites who she was before was dead, but traces of it still leaked in until she eventually gave the mantle to Madam Cymbaline.
Lucifer doesn’t see herself as feminine, not that she can’t play it up, and loathes the idea of wearing dresses. She considers herself a magic-user, but not a witch. The people she works with in both series are her lifeline and strongest ties to morality, and without them she is capable of being just as dangerous as the people she faces. The moment Val is killed and Lucifer loses one of the few remaining connections she has, she immediately stops playing nice and does things that are bad enough that it risks the very world itself and other gods are willing to punish her for it. Despite that, it’s made clear that she doesn’t want to do bad things and the path to redemption isn’t beyond her.
The Harlot is the Keeper of Secrets, an immortal being that is constantly being filled with the knowledge of the world and thus driven either mad or in immense pain by it. Her true identity is Fastrada, a woman born with magical powers hundreds of years ago. With the Witch Hunts going on, her sisters came up with the idea of gaining true power by sacrificing their children, all of whom did except for her. To protect her child, she became the Harlot from the previous Keeper of Secrets and lost her child at the same time. What happens to her child becomes the secret that is kept from her as the Harlot, only to be learned once a new Keeper of Secrets is found.
At some point in the past she marked Lucifer as the next Keeper of Secrets, though the Witchdom book cites Lucifer stole something from her and the Harlot used her as a pawn in turn, marking her after the Keeper of Secrets was the last major power left in the Aether. I’d take it with a grain of salt, but the point I’m making is that whatever reason she marked her and whatever grievances that Lucifer has with her, the Harlot bears with it because in a spiritual sense she does see her as the daughter that she lost as a mortal upon becoming the Harlot.
She doesn’t like being denounced a witch because whereas the rest of her sisters were willing to kill their children to gain power, she was willing to throw her mortal life away in an attempt to protect hers. She comes to realize, after learning that her child died alone and miserable at an early age from illness in an orphanage, Lucifer was the child she was supposed to protect. This is made clear as her final actions in the series serve to protect Lucifer from all those who were willing to harm her at the cost of herself, sucking them into the realm that the Yellow Crown leads to.
Val is an art curator who just so happens to collect dangerous magical artifacts to keep them out of the wrong hands. From beginning to the end, she was a motherly figure to both Raina and Lucifer. She was the first person to refer to Lucifer’s name as being lovely for a girl, and happens to be very protective of the two under her care.
She isn’t afraid to get rough to protect them or herself, proven when she killed Dietrich’s men, gutted Yves with a spear, and confronted the Harlot. The only time she truly gets furious with Lucifer was when she killed herself to get into the Shade. Likewise, she was willing to die in order to keep Lucifer safe and left behind a parting gift—a message telling her that she would await her in Heaven.
Madam Cymbaline is a minor character in the first series, but becomes the main antagonist in the second. She is a powerful figure in the magical community, and both villains before her, Dietrich and Yves, attempt to remove her from power only to fail due to Lucifer’s assistance. Despite that, she still yearns for more power to bring the Graeae back into a position of power they’ve been cast out of by the Harlot.
For the most part, Madam Cymbaline holds no strong feelings against Lucifer initially. She just so happens to be in her way, and killing Lucifer is the most efficient means of being rid of her. Likewise, Lucifer recognizes that she’s an important figure in the community and getting rid of her would do more harm than good. By the end, both absolutely loathe one another because they both crossed lines that the other could no longer tolerate—killing Val for Lucifer, and costing her the chance to become the next Keeper of Secrets for Madam Cymbaline.
Madam Cymbaline is the opposite of the Harlot, both powerful figures in the world of magic whose ties to their sisters bind them to their fate. But while the Harlot managed to resist her sisters, Madam Cymbaline goes along with their plans in order to bring them back to glory. The net result is that she briefly becomes a god and attains her goal, only to lose everything in the end.
Raina is new to all of this and, through circumstances somewhat beyond her control, becomes capable of using Necromancy. Val wanted her to take a break so she didn’t witness what Lucifer and Val were doing, namely going into a painting to pull a security guard named Bob out of it after he had a heart attack and getting him medical treatment. In the process they accidentally freed Yves, who stole Raina’s soul. Lucifer goes into the Shade and uses a mask to retrieve it or something similar and the end result is that Raina owes the Keeper of Secrets a debt. Afterwards, she accompanies Lucifer until she becomes the Thief and then proceeds to work to free her from the role. At the end of the series, she opens an art gallery like Val did with Lucifer at her side.
The overarching plot of both Hexed series serves to show Lucifer’s struggles in the face of the life she’s lived and her efforts to find redemption. She’s done bad things and has had to struggle to survive, but ultimately chooses what’s best for the world over what’s best for herself… right up until it gets someone she loved killed. After that, she becomes lost in her rage and grief, willing to potentially damn the world in an effort to get revenge. Only then we see that the friendships she forged enabled her to escape from the role she took up and give her a chance at true redemption.
She’s someone who’s teetering on the edge despite her best efforts and does eventually jump over the line, but because of the friendship she forged with Raina and Bob, and the matronly figures of the Harlot and Val, she’s given the chance to be free of it all.
The series was magnificent through and through, and I don’t just say that because I like Urban Fantasy of this nature. If you enjoy a story of magic in the modern world, aren’t afraid of blood or death, and the struggles of an experienced protagonist working to go against forces greater than her, I’d suggest giving it a read.
5 out of 5.
The second series, introduced in 2014 brings us back to the story of Lucifer working for Val again to get a rare painting frame. However, this brings her into conflict with mercenaries and a security guard named Bob ends up having a heart attack from witnessing it. Lucifer ends up sealing him inside of the painting and bringing him to Val, who is working with an intern named Raina. The painting turns out to contain a Madam Cymbaline’s brother who wants revenge and steals Raina’s soul, leading to Lucifer to go to the Harlot for a way to retrieve it.
She has to kill herself to get into the Shade and Yves ends up going after Val for an item and gets gutted by her when she has to protect the newly awakened Raina, after learning Lucifer killed herself. Raina makes a deal with the Harlot to bring her back to life, and Yves and Madam Cymbaline end up crashing Val’s gallery and burning it down. Yves is killed and most of Val’s artifacts are confiscated as a result.
Now without her gallery and most of her artifacts confiscated, Val must work out of a less reputable location and get them all back with Lucifer’s help. She also hired Bob to work for her, so there’s that too. However, Lucifer and Val get into an argument over an artifact that Madam Cymbaline covets known as the Yellow Crown, due to it being able to mind control others. Madam Cymbaline is willing to remove her hex for it and makes it clear that she’ll kill Val if Lucifer doesn’t give it to her, but Val doesn’t care for her own life compared to keeping it out of the former’s hands.
In the end, Lucifer tosses it into a realm where the sands of the desert rob you of your memories and Madam Cymbaline kills Val and her cat. Enraged, Lucifer proceeds to kill a number of Madam Cymbaline’s servants and then summons a devil that other gods died to keep out of the mortal realm, knowing full well that the gods would try to punish her for it. So she goes to the Harlot and takes on the role of the Keeper of Secrets.
After this, Raina works with Bob to try and free Lucifer, who is now the Thief, from her role with the help of the former Harlot—whose real name is Fastrada. She was a witch during the 1600s that fell in love with a man only for him to learn that she was a witch after they had a child. This was orchestrated by her sisters, who wanted to complete a ritual that involved sacrificing her baby. In the end, she banished them to the Shade but had to become the Harlot in order to do so, leaving the secret of what happened to her child forever out of her reach.
Lucifer, now the Thief, has this secret but is only willing to give it to her for the Yellow Crown as Madam Cymbaline comes for her. Because Madam Cymbaline managed to get rid of the devil Lucifer summoned, the gods elevated her into being one in order to get revenge on Lucifer. So, while the two of them do battle, Raina and Fastrada retrieve the Yellow Crown at the expense of Bob being trapped inside of the realm where he forgets who he is.
They return with it just as Lucifer is on the verge of defeat and is forced to give up her role as the Keeper of Secrets to buy time long enough for Fastrada to use the Yellow Crown and pull herself, Madam Cymbaline, and her sisters into a realm where they can never harm anyone else. Lucifer tells her the secret she wants, that her daughter had been adopted and lived a long and healthy life, but she knows it’s a lie. Her daughter caught an illness and died in an orphanage, but she recognizes that Lucifer was the child she was meant to look after and protect in her place.
In the end, Lucifer and Raina reopen Val’s art gallery and retrieve Bob, who goes on to his honeymoon. They find out that Val had a painting commissioned for Lucifer, where she finds a message telling her that she’d be waiting for Lucifer in Heaven along with feather from when she had an angel’s wings in the first series.
That’s about it for Part 2. Next week, we’ll look into a summary of the characters and the overarching plot and development the characters go through.
Over the next few weeks, I want to talk about a series that recently completed that really interested me. It was called Hexed and, much like my Runaways review, I’ll be going into details about the story and the characters. One thing to note is that there is a prequel book called Hexed: The Sisters of Witchdown that seems to be a prequel to the comic series. Since this isn’t a book review, but a comic review, I won’t go into it.
We’ll start with what Hexed is and cover the first series:
Hexed is the story of a young girl named Lucifer who, sometime in the past, came into contact with a mysterious and powerful being known as the Harlot. The Harlot is the ultimate information broker, and she yearns for a successor to her title to the Keeper of Secrets. For some reason she chose Lucifer for this role and placed hex upon her soul because of it, which will allow her to claim her soul upon death and make her into the next Keeper of Secrets.
Both the 2008 series and the 2014 series tell the story of Luci Jenifer Inacio das Neves, or Lucifer for short, but covers different aspects of her life. The 2008 series gives us a glance into the life she’s lived and mistakes she’s made as a powerful figure intends to use her to eliminate his competition, which would throw the magical society into a war that would bleed over into the regular world. The 2014 series gives us an introspective look into those she cares about and how they feel the same for her, showing how they’ve become her new family and the extent she would go to protect them.
In a way, the series reminds of the Dresden Files, despite having different protagonists. Harry Dresden is a detective by trade, while Lucifer is a thief and proud of that. Both work on supernatural cases and take bad things from bad people to make sure they don’t end up in the wrong hands. Maybe these similarities are why I like it so much?
2008 / 4-Issue Series
The first series, introduced in 2008 had Lucifer working with an art gallery manager named Val in securing magical artifacts that are too dangerous to be out in public. The first few pages introduce us to Lucifer sneaking into the rear entrance of a club, picking a lock, and then opening a safe that’s guarded by a witch-hound that she subsequently seals inside of a pink stuffed doll. This item that she takes is later revealed to be an angel’s wings (this will come up later on) and Val’s people will see to it that it gets back to its proper owner.
Back at home, she comes face-to-face with a former client named Dietrich who she left with a debt of about three-hundred grand because she refused to steal from Nuns that he lied about. Dietrich seems to understand that she doesn’t care for herself, but knows that she doesn’t want people to be hurt because of her, even if it’s happened before. So he sends her on a mission to retrieve a magical item that, when combined with the true name of someone else, can kill them without fail.
She’s forced to retrieve it, but goes to Val to warn her that she’s in danger. Val is willing to die rather than let the magical too be used because it’s caused thousands of deaths, but Lucifer won’t let her and warns her to be careful before Dietrich shows up at her home and she takes him into the Aether where the Harlot dwells in search of the true name of a person known as Madam Cymbaline. When Lucifer refuses, he has the tool attempt to kill Val and threatens to do the same to one person out of the phone book until he does get it back.
Lucifer ends up leading a car chase before being arrested and then summoning a demon who lets her escape through a toilet (yes, really). She finds that Val is alive, having transferred her name to one of Dietrich’s men and slit the others throat, but then Dietrich shows up and shoots Val with the intention of shooting her thirty times unless Lucifer gets him what he wants. To bring things to a close without going into overt details, he shoots Lucifer, Lucifer kills him with the witch-hound, and divine intervention in the form of the angel whose wings she returned ends up saving her life with a reminder that heaven can be found by anyone willing to strive for it.
Next week, we’ll go into the 2014 / 12 – Issue series.
And so it ends here, with Magneto #21. There’s not a lot to say folks, so I’ll be quick in condensing my thoughts on the conclusion of this series and its perspective on Magneto! Read on!
Okay, the comic opens with a flashback to Magneto’s first fight with the X-Men. In this fight, he pronounces mutants as the new overlords of humanity while handing them their asses, and when we go to the present we find him acknowledging the irony of the situation. The world thinks he’s here to turn a new leaf, a lie the desperate tell themselves as the world is coming to an end.
Another flashback shows when he sinks a Russian submarine because they are preparing to launch a missile in retaliation for him threatening all the governments of the world. He intends to use them as an example. As they die and he watches, he knows there is no redemption and that hasn’t changed now. He sees and himself as a monster, now and forever.
Polaris can only watch on as he does this, having lost her powers. Briar comes up to her and offers her a hand, explaining that he took them because he didn’t want to sacrifice her. Polaris simply states he’s only lying to himself and her believing that. For him, the ends justify the means.
In another flashback her words are proven true as Magneto is talking with Charles and the X-Men, refusing to come to court for laws he doesn’t recognize. Charles warns that the way he does things won’t get the results he wants because it does more harm than good, but then some suits come up to him and tell him they acknowledge Genosha as his land. Not the good way to send a message.
It seems like he’s pushing back the other world back in the present, but Briar can see that’s not the case. His body can’t withstand the power and turns to ashes with nothing left behind, realizing that everything he’d done to this point has taken away everything from him for nothing. The comic ends with the world being destroyed.
Okay, review time.
There’s not much to write home about in the issue. It was the final one and, as we see, Magneto failed in the end. For both the issue and the series itself… well, there was no getting around how it was going to end. This massive crossover crap was always going to ruin it. The art was about the same and we mostly just looked into the final thoughts of a man who thrived on violence and murder to accomplish a goal, only for it to all be meaningless in the end. It’s a shaggy dog story, with the best anyone will be able to say was that he tried.
I give the issue a 3 out of 5, and the series as a whole a 3.5 out of 5. I liked the introspective into it, but the art wasn’t spectacular. The ending was screwed by the crossover, and ultimately everything that was sacrificed for was for nothing.
I’m back folks, or rather I never left. There just hasn’t been much in the comic world that’s interested me with Secret Wars. But I still read Magneto and some secrets are coming out in what I think is the second-to-last issue of his own series. So read on my review of Magneto # 20!
The comic opens with Mags bleeding from his mouth and nose, wondering if his doppelganger is on the other side trying to do the same and which has gone to greater lengths. He has no clue his doppelganger went nuts, caused that Ultimatum event that ruined the Ultimate-Universe, and is dead. It’s for the best.
Anyway, it turns our Briar was wealthy and bored when she got caught in his attack in Seattle that left her leg injured. She claims she tried to minimize the damage by manipulating him, but it also turns out that she likes the monstrous side of him and pain makes her feel alive. He tells her there’s more to be done before the end.
In the present we see Lorna trying to tell him to stop since he’s killing himself. He reasons that since they keep sending sentinels they have a chance and he was going to keep going, he just needed more power. The Marauders provide him with amplifiers and the charging will take five minutes.
He’s bought that time because Briar contacted SHIELD with her agent and gave them information about the Incursions so they’d back him up as he continued. Lorna also came because she was invited to a club for people who like Magneto, despite the fact he’d maimed them at some point. Yeah, it gets weird, but to each its own.
Anyway, she informed Lorna that he was going to die and it would be best to have his child by his side. The comic then cuts to him draining her powers, so that he can finish up and ends with him looking like he’s exploding with power.
Okay, review time.
All in all, I find this issue a conflicting thing. On the one hand, I know he’s going to end up failing because Secret Wars is a thing and this is hopeless. On the other, I think he’s doing great things and he makes a fair point.
I’ll give it a 4 out of 5.
Ha! Bet you thought I was done with my comic reviews! Well, the truth is I am unpleased with the Marvel Reboot and thus decided to skip the unnecessary bits and pieces. I’ll just wait until it settles down first.
But we’re here for a different purpose. That would be my review of Magneto # 19! Let’s get to it!
The comic opens with Magneto trying to stop the Incursion, but the Ultimate Universe is fighting back by deploying robots and the 616-Universe civilians are stupid enough to just watch. Naturally, Lorna goes to save the civilians while he thinks back to how he needed to interrogate his MGH dealer for something stronger, though it was likely to kill him if he used it. Turns out those people stayed behind on purpose to see Magneto, once again showing that he still has fans despite everything.
Some time in the past, Magneto visited some guy who looks like a demon known as Sugar Man. Normally he would kill the guy, but right now his knowledge of mutant genetics and he needs a way to boost his power quick and dirty. Once he gets that, he kills the man. It’s about what we expected from him.
Despite the enhanced MGH, the amplifiers, and siphoning Earth’s magnetic energies into his body, it isn’t enough power. Yet his body can’t handle it anymore, and between his addiction to MGH and the upcoming fight, he knows he’s going to die. So, before that, Briar asks her who she really is as the comic ends.
Okay, review time…
More of a transitional issue, showing the measures he’s taken in order to accomplish his goals and how he knows that his death is imminent. Still don’t see why Lorna is wearing her old outfit, but I guess that can’t be helped in the grand scheme of things. Overall, it’s nothing new but not bad.
It gets a 3 out of 5.
The last days of Magneto are here now that Secret Wars is out and about. This is my review of the 18th issue in the series of one man who only wants to protect mutant-kind. Uncanny X-Men doesn’t count anymore after that Tempus screw-up. Read on!
Okay, the comic abruptly begins with Mags catching up with his daughter. By which I mean Polaris, not the two who were un-retconned, who has donned her traditional clothing rather than her Serval gear as they face the end of the world. Since I have stuff to do today, I’ll keep this brief:
Mags has known about incursions for some time because he’s been in touch with Namor, who was part of the Illuminati, who was recently ganked by Black Panther for flooding his city during A vs X, and survived to join the Cabal. Are you with me so far?
Magneto wants to save their world, meaning he has to destroy the 1610 world. He has the means of doing so because, before the above-mentioned shanking, Namor gave him a thumb-drive containing all the information he had on the incursions, just in case something happened to him.
So he, his daughter, and the Marauder clones are doing their best to save people as he siphons as much energy as possible from the Earth, and will likewise do the same when the other world gets closer and use it to destroy it. By there’s a catch.
As the comic ends, we see that they still have Sentinels in the Ultimate Universe, which I thought had been scrapped after Kitty Pryde became the mutant leader of them all, but apparently not.
Okay, review time.
To be brief, I don’t think that this issue carries all that much weight in light of Secret Wars. We know he fails because issue #2 is out and the end of the first one was where we watched the two worlds end. And why has Polaris suddenly appeared? Honestly, it would have been better to end it last issue.
It gets a 3 out of 5.
Okay, the last issue of Spider-Man 2099, issue #18, is out and so here’s my review of it. Read on as the series comes to a close in lieu of Secret Wars!
The comic opens with when we last left off, namely that Miguel’s efforts to cure Tempest led to her becoming a new member of his rogue gallery, like so many others. He narrates that by all accounts this shouldn’t be happening, but then thinks about all the crazy things he’d been up to and figures anyone of them could be responsible. Right now, his more pressing matter was the spider-wasp woman trying to eat him.
The fight spills over to a park, where his A.I informs him that the change should be temporary at best, when we get a hostage situation with a police officer being held captive in order to lure him out. In stark contrast to the majority of the police community, this one is actually on Miguel’s side. Where has she been lately?
Anyway, Miguel lures Tempest underwater and then manages to distract her by revealing his secret identity long enough to knock her out. The police arrive and try to arrest him, failing predictably even as the nice one covers for him winging her with a bullet, and Miguel deposits Tempest back into her room and apologizes for the whole thing.
As the comic ends, we have confirmation that she remembers what happened while under the transformation, including his secret identity.
Okay, review time.
Short, sweet, and to the point. I can’t really complain, but having some sort of confirmation as to what was the reason she suddenly went hungry for spiders would have been nice. Oh, well, there’s not much you can do once you reach the closing chapter of the series. 4 out of 5.
As for the series as a whole, I found it entertaining. Reading it was never a chore, but sometimes Miguel’s thoughts disturbed me—like when he thought of throwing his boss out of a window. Miguel operates differently than Peter in how approaches things, though he doesn’t go as far as Kaine would. It would have been nice if it lasted longer, but all we can do is hope he survives the reboot….
Oh, who are we kidding, all spiders are safe.
The series itself gets a 5 out of 5.
The Amazing Spider-Man has one more comic before Secret Wars potentially renders it all moot! Is this the end of Parker Industries? Here’s my review of the Issue #18!
The comic opens with Sanjani getting what she deserved for being a back-stabber, only for Peter to save her in the end. She still whines, and he blames himself for it, so nice to see these staples are still in play even with the upcoming reboot. Still, it’s probably why I liked Otto as much as I did, he didn’t take the blame when it wasn’t his fault.
Anna continues to be best girl by gearing up alongside the former criminal the Peter hired, determined not to be useless like so many other love interests and reaffirming my belief that she was easily the best thing out of the Superior Spider-Man. Again folks, even if there is a reboot, she must make it!
Meanwhile, Peter is talking smack to Ghost about how he’s weak in a fair fight and the moment he turns solid he’s in for a world of hurt. Ghost agrees, so he decides to blow up the building now and ends up burying Peter under some rubble and a steel beam that by all rights he should be able to bench press. Hence the cavalry arrives and nails the douchebag with sonic and fire webbing. Thus the day is saved, and Anna Marie covers his escape by tossing him a bag with civilian clothes.
In the aftermath, they figure out he was hired to do it and guess it was Alchemax, but you can’t exactly prove it now can you? Sanjani continues to be a hypocrite about him keeping secrets, so Anna comes out that they were still working on the nanotech research. He tries to be nice, she’s still a bitch, and the building finishes collapsing and sets them back to before day one.
The comic, at least the part I care about, ends, with Peter trying to cover his ass about how this won’t happen again.
Okay, review time…
Now, I’m not sure if this is the end of the series, but I feel that if it is then this ending is rather placid and not nearly decent enough. It has Peter floundering around, Sanjani is a horrible character and a hypocrite, and the Black Cat interludes are a waste of panels that could have been condensed to a single filler issue. From what I can tell, Peter is back in top form, but I hopped on the spider-train during the Superior and Scarlet Spiders stories and so far they’ve had more interesting tales—granted, they had more issues and more fillers.
The issue as a whole will get a 3 out of 5, but the series did keep me entertained and never pissed me off to the extent of Uncanny X-Men or All-New Ultimates, so the series gets a 3.5 out of 5. It’s worth a read, but if Secret Wars ruins everything then we’ve all been wasting our time.
Magneto’s attempts to rebuild Genosha have come under threat by a murderer that has a mysterious past with him. Who is this killer? How does it end? Read my review of Magneto #17 and find out!
Okay, so the comic begins with the Marauders clones searching for the killer, while Mags thinks on why mutants are returning to Genosha. Some seek asylum, others a home, but Magneto thinks that it was pride that had him move to rebuild his fallen utopia. Pride has a heavy-cost, and more than once it’s been paid for in blood.
Briar points out that he believes a mutant is responsible, leading to a memory where he watched as fellow escapees from the Holocaust were being gunned down and Hitzig narrowly missed him, though his parting words still manage to haunt Mags. Turns out this is horribly relevant as Hitzig is alive and the murderer haunting Genosha. So that issue where we saw the psychic creation of the Nazi surviving after Red Onslaught had been dealt with turned out to be a lot more relevant than we thought.
The thing is from Mags’ mind, brought into the world and made real. This makes killing him again rather difficult for Magneto, and he slips away. Magneto realizes he will continue to do this because the only way for it to continue to exist is to make him suffer, meaning it will never end up less he does something drastic.
Meanwhile, Briar goes to sleep in her own quarters, where Arclight is jealous of her. It turns out that the shade of Hitzig is there and decides to kill her to make Mags suffer, as nightmares like it usually do. Magneto remains blissfully ignorant of this, instead going to confront a mutant who he believes has something to do with this.
It turns out that the illusionist mutant, Amy, could bring things to life, but she couldn’t control them. After what the Red Skull did to her, she ends up pulling Hitzig out of his head accidentally and she can’t stop it. She didn’t come to a remote beach to hide, but because she knows what he has to do to end it and doesn’t want anyone to see him when he does it, otherwise everything would fall apart.
The comic ends with the Hitzig shade turning to ashes and Magneto contemplating how his legacy has spoiled under the ruins of his own darkness, having to kill the child to save what he had left.
Okay, review time.
Once more, Magneto’s tale ends with blood being spilled in order to do what is best for mutants. This time, much like the knock-off Omega Sentinel, it was someone who had no control over what they were doing, but because of an outside power influencing them. It’s tragic, as expected of this series.
5 out of 5.
Miguel O’Hara is back in the present and back to working with Alchemax. How will his future knowledge affect the timeline again? Read on and find out in my review of Spider-Man 2099 #11.
The comic opens with Tempest, the suicidal pink-hair woman who has a terminal cancer, talking on the phone with her mother. They clearly have issues to work out, but none so much as Miguel who was creepily watching her for an hour on her ceiling until she goes to sleep. He then injects her with something meant to cure her cancer, and then flees when she wakes up screaming about her rather justified anger at his intrusion.
He goes back to work the next morning thinking on what Maestro said about Alchemax leading to the end of the world. When he gets there he learns about them competing with Parker Industries for the prison contract. See the last issue of Amazing Spider-Man for his side of things there.
Anyway, Miguel helps Spider-Man deal with another D-lister and then they discuss what he saw in his future. Since that only occurred after he went back in time, something must have changed because of his presence or the whole Spider-Verse mess. Either way, he wants Peter to win the competition.
Miguel heads home and finds Tempest drunk off her ass, celebrating her miraculous recovery. She puts together that Miguel told Spider-Man so he cured her and starts kissing him. Then bad things happen and she turns into an insect monster with a hunger for Miguel’s flesh as the comic ends.
Okay, review time….
Nice to see some consistency among the books and in the natural Spider-Man luck something they try to do for good reasons bite them in the ass. I liked it, but the stalker angles creep me out, so I give it a 4 out of 5.
The final issue of Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man is out now. As the series comes to a close, I’ll give you my review of both the issue and how I thought the series was. So let’s get into what happened in Issue #12 of Miles Morales’ story.
The comic opens with the teacher noticing that three students, Miles, Katie, and Ganke, are missing and asks Judge if he had seen them. A sensible person would have sent the dorm guy to go check their room, but instead Judge is the one who has to do that and finds out the place has been trashed. Seriously, how did no one notice him being kidnapped if they made that much of a mess?
Meanwhile, Miles has been captured and hung up in a suspension cube by Doctor Doom. You see, he has a thing against Miles because he invaded Doom’s castle in a crossover with the All-New X-Men. Doom makes it clear he’s going to mine him for every biological secret he’s got and then make a bunch of super-Hydra agents. Miles explodes with a new power, gets free, and begins to curb-stomp everyone off-screen.
Judge, the ever-curious person, goes to Miles’ house to see that was also trashed and runs into Cloak and Dagger, who scare him until he explains that he was his friend and thinks something has happened to him. They decide to gather their remaining friends and Maria Hill to try and find Miles, receiving a notice about an explosion in a warehouse district. By the time they arrive, Miles and Jessica have mopped up everything.
Miles finds everyone safe and sound, breaks up with Katie by letting Dagger stab her (just knocked her out), and the comic ends with their planet about to smash into the 616-universe.
Okay, review time…
You can tell they rushed this with the whole Hydra subplot. Doom’s beef with Miles comes out of left-field if you didn’t read the All-New X-Men issues, we suddenly get him having either a new power or a souped-up Venom Blast unlike what he unleashed on Osborn, and the world is getting ready to end. You can tell they just wanted to get things into place so they can close the Ultimate Universe with Secret Wars after Ultimate End.
It was rushed, so I can’t give it more than a 3 out of 5.
As for the series as a whole, it wasn’t bad. In fact, it was the one series I never got completely jaded or frustrated with. I flat-out dropped All-New Ultimates and Uncanny X-Men because they were flawed through and through and I just couldn’t take it anymore. But asides from bringing Peter back from the dead and Jefferson’s flashback, this was a good series overall.
It gets a 5 out of 5.
Amazing Spider-Man #17 is out now! Here’s my review and recap as we see once more why Anna Marie is best girl!
Okay, it opens with Anna Marie and Peter at Aunt May’s for dinner. She’s still unaware that Doc Ock was riding in his body for a few months, so she believes they’re still together. Peter is once again being flaky on how to broach the topic, so Anna does it for him by saying they’ve split due to work but it’s rather amicable—which is the truth, more-or-less. She then points out that they can get back to their workplace faster by web-swinging and no one would blink an eye since Spider-Man has saved her twice. I like how she cuts through the neurosis and gets to the point.
Meanwhile, Sanjay is once again bitching about how Parker’s project has little profit rather than being a good thing for the city, which Clayton promptly calls her out on. He earns points in my book there. But sadly she goes back to the whining when Anna reveals that he has a secret entrance for his meetings with Spider-Man and they broke up.
At the same time, Ghost is screwing with their security system, kills a guard, and turns their testing equipment on them. Peter, through a combination of Spider-Sense, Anna being best girl and covering for him, and the Living Brain being a shield, he manages get them out and shift into costume. But not before Sanjay tries to take matters into her own hands and fails to reason with the guy sabotaging the place since he isn’t doing it for profit, but because he wants to.
The comic ends with Peter arriving just in time to see her get stabbed. There was also something with Black Cat, but all you need to know is she plans on robbing Aunt May next issue.
Okay, review time…
Yes, I’m bias in thinking Anna Marie is best girl. She was the one thing Otto did that stayed good in the end. Also, Sanjay lost me when she sold out Parker Industries by telling Black Cat how to sabotage the machine with Electro, which could have potentially killed them all or ruined the company. She did so intentionally, just now too, thinking that she’s the only one who can do something—only this time it bit her in the ass.
I don’t even mind the secret project, because I can see where they’re both coming from. Anna Marie still respects and honors Otto’s legacy and work, so she wants to continue. If she talked to Peter, I’m sure he’d agree. Sanjay… well, she only cares about the bottom-line and would be better off working at Alchemax.
5 out of 5.
The comic opens with a flashback to the events of decimation, when Utopia was established. Somehow, Magneto found out about X-Force and had them go after someone. Despite that, he needed to see the body. Whoever it was, you could be sure they had to be someone twisted for Mags to send out X-Force rather than do it himself.
In the present, Mags is rebuilding Genosha and Briar is helping to foot the bill. She doesn’t have anywhere else to go since she’s helped him out so brazenly, but he’s understandably confused why she did all this for him. Her response is to lower the blinds and kiss him, regardless of the fact he’s thee reason she’s wearing a brace in the first place. Dude has skills.
While Mags is getting busy, some of the other mutants are hiding away from the camp. They came to his island, but don’t want to live under his rule until they see what he’s all about, being a former terrorist and all. Naturally, someone cloaked in the cover of darkness comes and prepares to kill them.
Post-coitus, Mags finds himself dreading that a new beginning often serves as a preamble for disaster. He’s proven right when they stumble upon one of the boys from last night’s corpse. He can tell it was placed there deliberately and the one who did it relished the act of cruelty.
They follow a blood trail and find the others, along with a Nazi Swastika painted in blood on the wall. Whoever started clearly doesn’t intend to stop. It’s made worse when Mags returns to find that the killer had apparently be inside their trailer while they slept and painted it in the bathroom mirror, with a message telling him to keep the furnaces warm as the comic ends.
Okay, review time.
Well, a new plot-line begins and it starts with a murder mystery. I liked how they pointed out the symbol commonly recognized as a swastika existed thousands of years before the Nazis in several different cultures, yet Hitler’s ass managed to taint the entire thing. It goes to show how one very large act of evil can dye everything associated with it in it’s color.
4 out of 5.
Okay, after Miles basically got his ass caught for stupidly revealing his identity, he’s now captured by HYDRA. What happens next, you ask? Read my review of Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man #11!
The comic opens with the fake spider guys robbing another SHIELD place, only this time Jessica Drew is waiting for them. Much like every other time we see her trying to do something alone in this series, she gets her ass-kicked and de-masked. Would it have killed her to have taken Cloak, Dagger, or Bombshell? Then again, Miles didn’t even put up a fight so….
Speaking of him, Miles’ father is calling for him, but doesn’t have his phone. Ganke does, and it turns out he and Miles are both horrible at keeping his secret identity a secret. Their roommate for the last year knew all this time, because he’s not an idiot and these guys are loud. Roxxon was right, he did a horrible job of protecting his secret identity.
Miles wakes up to find Katie there waiting for him, and she explains she had nothing to do with this. But she did tell her sister and when your whole family is HYDRA, it naturally leads to this. He breaks out of the ropes holding him down, but Katie’s father has captured his family and friends so he’ll settle down rather than punching through him like he’s made of plywood.
He chews Miles out stating that his actions have cost them a number of agents despite losing his mother because of his actions, but he’s alive because Katie asked that he be given a chance and he’s a valuable piece of genetic engineering. Miles tries to flee, only to get shot because for some reason he forgot he has camouflage powers and Spider-Sense and Agility, only for Doom to show up with Jessica Drew in tow.
Okay, review time….
To be fair, Doom had made it clear he was going to get Miles back in the All New X-Men series, so I really wasn’t surprised. Even if the cover hadn’t given him away. I’d consider it proper continuity, but the Ultimate Universe is doomed next issue anyway so it doesn’t matter.
Still, 4 out of 5.
Spider-Verse is over, so it’s back to the daily grind for Peter Parker in Amazing Spider-Man #16. Here’s my review of how things are going for the original web-slinger.
The comic opens at the zoo, with a villain known as Iguana commanding a bunch of reptiles to jump Spider-Man. Normally he wouldn’t be struggling so much against a C-lister, but he’s still aching from having his life-force drained and, on top of that, he has a big presentation today. Though it was funny the villain was offended that he was talking on the phone while fighting.
Anna Marie calls and tells him he needs to get there, but Sanjay hijacks the phone and calls him out on not being there for his project and she won’t do the presentation since she doesn’t believe in it (which was made abundantly clear when she helped Black Cat sabotage it in the first place.) To this, Peter goes on a long rant on how these people need the prison.
He goes on about how most people with powers are driven by pain and rage at not being able to control it, and even the worst that are monsters by choice would be so much less dangerous without their powers. They need compassion, understanding, and help. He says all this while kicking the crap out of Iguana, by the way, and tells her he’s on his way now the moment she lets it slip that Alchemax is in line next to get the job. Nobody wants that with how many shady figures are around there.
Liz Allen presents her brother as an example of reformed prisoner, with him cured of his power and now having a steady job, and the guys admit that Ty Stone’s project looks the most promising. Peter shows up just as they finish. He and Liz Allen are fairly friendly compared to their employees.
However, once Liz mentions Peter has a habit of snatching victory from impossible odds, Ty and her brother decided to make arrangements to prevent that. They go to Black Cat’s parlor, her being the new Kingpin and all, and arrange for some guy named Ghost to try and put the company out of business permanently as the comic ends….
Oh, and there’s also a thing with Black Cat wanting back everything she stole and her good luck powers only working when she’s a selfish bitch.
Okay, review time…
Not bad for an introduction to a new arc, but the solicitations lied to me again and that’s annoying. The cover art would have been better saved until the actual infiltration, but what can you do.
3 out of 5.
Trapped in Maestro’s lair, can Miguel escape back to the past to correct the future? Read my review of Spider-Man 2099 #10 to find out!
Our comic picks up after Maestro has curbstomped our hero and dropped him off in a cell. Maestro’s minister asks him what he was thinking locking the hero up unchained in a cell with a Sorceress Supreme. Clearly he knows that this can only lead to one thing, namely that they team-up and escape, but Maestro tells him that he doesn’t care what he thinks. He doesn’t even care about the future he’s conquered since he’s done all there is to do in this world and now he wants more.
Meanwhile, Miguel can’t even crawl over to the female Doctor Strange because he’s so badly beaten, but he manages to fire a web-line and she pulls him close enough to heal. He breaks her chains and they stomp through some guards in order to get to where Maestro has a time machine, with Miguel desperate to go back and fix this mess. There they find Doom’s Time Platform and he figures they just need enough power and there’s half-a-dozen Iron Man suits still in working order.
Maestro shows up and ganks the Sorceress Supreme using a Soul Dagger and an Invisibility Cloak. Miguel flips and manages to get off a shot of an Iron Man Gauntlet before hopping the platform to get back to his own time. He hopes he put Maestro down, because him coming back to the past would be a worse-case scenario. Sad to say, that’s exactly what happened because Maestro and the female Doctor Strange (or rather, the demon possessing her) tricked him into giving Maestro exactly what he wanted.
He ends up in the past right as the comic ends.
Okay, review time…
Honestly, I liked it. It was short, precise, and accomplished what was set out to be done rather than drag it by three more issues. Art was wonderful, and future materials were laid out for plot.
4 out of 5.
Spider-Man 2099 #9 is out now! Read my review of what happens at the end of Spider-verse, when Miguel is sent back to his own time!
The comic opens with the future not looking like Miguel remembers. Rather than a sprawling and packed city, it’s a wasteland of debris and gloomy remnants of a once great city. He starts freaking out, wondering if Morlun was responsible, but some raiders shoot at him before he can get too into it and he fakes dead long enough to get them close enough to take him to the nearest sign of civilization.
The shantytown the two take him to is empty, due to more guys showing up and trying to capture them. Turns out they work for the Maestro, an alternate future version of the Hulk who has a brain. Long story short, he and the Hulk get into it and Miguel gets beaten like a drum until the dude gets bored.
As they carry him back to the Hulk’s place, he mentions that this wasteland is due to Alchemax experimenting leading to nukes flying. Yep, somehow they make things even worse than the original 2099. Anyway, Maestro makes it clear he wants to get back to the past, which will end horribly for everyone, and Miguel gets tossed into a cell where a female Doctor Strange is as the comic ends.
Okay, review time…
Honestly, I found this to be okay. Not too good, but not bad. It’s just average since it’s setting up a cool down arc for either Miguel returning to the past or into Secret Wars, but at least this explains the reason that Miguel mentioned Harrison Snow basically killed those two he sent back to the future in the last issue of All-New X-Factor.
3 out of 5.
The epilogue of Spider-Verse can be found in Amazing Spider-Man #15! How does it end? Read my review and recap!
The story starts with the various spiders going to their home dimensions, the most notable being Mayday. She returns to find out that both her mother and boyfriend didn’t die because her father held out long enough, meaning that she hasn’t lost everything. Even better, he left his outfit behind for her so that she’s now the new Spider-Woman rather that Spider-Girl.
Back at the Master Weaver’s domain, Otto starts cutting away at the Web of Destiny and threatens to unravel all of creation like a madman, though he claims he’s freeing them from destiny. Spider-Gwen and Miguel leave for their own time and dimensions, while the remaining 616-spiders take him down, but not before Otto has a failsafe in place so that even after his memories get scrambled once he goes back to the past and he returns the body to Peter, he’ll be back.
With that out of the way, someone has to replace the Master Weaver. Karn removes the Master Weaver’s helmet to reveal it is an older version of him, meaning that this was destiny. He sets out to repair the web, but can’t send Spider-UK back to his dimension because the incursions ended up destroying it. So he and Anya stay behind to do some good, while Peter goes back feeling like he can be a successful company owner and Kaine ends up hatching from the corpse of his Other form as the comic ends.
Okay, review time.
There isn’t much to say other than it’s a great send off for Spider-Verse. We see everyone home to where they belong, except a few living spiders and the rest who were dead, and the Inheritors are dealt with. Otto and Kaine have set the grounds for their return, and Mayday got her happy ending. It was easily the best crossover I’ve read and I can safely say it was a great story and great read.
5 out of 5 for both the issue, and the crossover. X-Men could learn a thing or two from this.
Things seem to be going good for Miles so far, but will they last? Of course not! Read my review of Ultimate Spider-Man: Miles Morales #10 and find out…. Wait, did I do this intro before?
Anyway, the comic opens up with Maria Hill storming the warehouse where the Spider-Man copy-cats were, only to find it cleaned beyond belief. This naturally annoys her, but at least she takes it better than her Uncanny counterpart. On the other side of things, Miles’ father is at his school to get him going back there while he’s witnessing a fight between Sabertooth and Electro.
Miles is perfectly content to just fight the winner, but naturally fights end in a crapload of property damage and when a school bus is in the way he has to intervene. He’s got a point though; it’s always a school bus. Anyway, Cloak and Dagger show up to help out and he asks them for relationship advice. Like me, they asked why he would tell her his secret identity, but ultimately come to the conclusion that he needs to talk with her about it.
He then visits Ganke, who I wish I could un-see what he was doing. He tells him that Katie hasn’t been around so Miles goes to visit her place. Katie’s father welcomes him in, gives him a glass of water, and casually asks when he got his spider-powers. Miles should have known something was wrong the moment any father welcomed his daughter’s boyfriend with open arms, but he does state that she didn’t tell them about his secret as the comic ends.
Okay, review time…
Honestly, I guess Spider-sense don’t warn about poisons and drugs now or he ignored it because this dude got the drop on him. I bet it was Katie’s sister who told on him. Damn it, this is going to make the relationship awkward.
Still, 5 out of 5.